Tag Archives: hearing aid

Is There a Cure for Tinnitus? How hearing aid help in tinnitus treatment?

Tinnitus

There’s no medication or proven cure for tinnitus at present, however, a number of treatments have been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms.

Digital Hearing aid may substantially help a person who is suffering from tinnitus along with hearing loss.  Hearing aid may be used alone or in combination with other measures to control tinnitus.  Siemens micon, phonak Audio Q, Starkey Xino Tinnitus, Widex Xen and unitron Moxi kiss are few digital hearing aids which comes along with tinnitus maskers.

Hearing Loss and Tinnitus:

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, clicking or hissing sound when there is no such external sound present. Although some people with normal hearing may also experience ringing in ear but most commonly it is associated with hearing loss.

There is common assumption in many people that because of continues sound in the ear they cannot hear. People also believe that nothing can be done for tinnitus. Consequently a considerable number of people do not seek help for hearing loss also. 

Tinnitus Treatment

Tinnitus is managed by treating the underlying cause   or by altering reactions to it, (Tinnitus retraining Therapy-a holistic approach which tries to make the patient accustomed to a noise in such a way that he /she learns to ignore it).

There are other therapy options like music therapy, yoga and CBT .

Digital Hearing Aids for Tinnitus treatment-

Hearing aids can help people with hearing loss and in many cases it also reduces tinnitus symptoms.

Patients not showing relief with hearing aids alone are fitted with combination of a hearing aid and a tinnitus masker.

Patients who do not have hearing loss can be benefited with Tinnitus maskers. These devices are similar to hearing aids but it does not amplify sound and  provides continuous low level sound to the ear.

Studies prove that hearing aid properly fitted by qualified hearing professional results in better relief from tinnitus

A survey of 230 hearing care professionals suggests that six out of 10 patients (60%) experience minor to major relief of tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, and a total of one in five (22%) receive major relief. Less than 2% of patients experience a worsening of their tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, while 39% receive no benefit.

Kochkin S, Tyler R. Tinnitus treatment and the effectiveness of hearing aids: hearing care professional perceptions. Hearing Review. 2008;15(13):14-18. – read See more here .

How hearing aids may help in tinnitus?

Following factors can explain relief in tinnitus symptoms when a hearing aid is used-

Reduced Stress:

A person with hearing loss is struggling to hear, which makes communication stressful for him and stress in turn increases tinnitus symptom. Digital Hearing aid makes communication easy and subsequent reduced stress level is helpful in better coping with tinnitus.

Sound Therapy:

Tinnitus is more noticeable and disturbing when environment is quiet. Hearing aid amplifies background sound thus increasing information available to brain. Which in turn makes tinnitus sound less audible (Masking tinnitus). Open fit hearing aid or RIC are found better in controlling tinnitus as it does not cause blocking effect in the ear.

Combination of hearing aid with tinnitus masker provides low level masking sound in addition to amplification. Low level sound helps in getting accustomed to tinnitus sound.

Studies suggest sufficient evidence for use of hearing aid fitting as an option for the tinnitus treatment. Once hearing loss is addressed by using hearing aids people become more aware of sound around them and less aware of their tinnitus.

In short use of hearing aid along with proper counseling do help tinnitus sufferer in living better quality of life.

If tinnitus is bothering you meet an ENT specialist and get your hearing test done by audiologist to know cause of your tinnitus and take second step of digital hearing aid trial if test report shows hearing loss.

Audicco Tinnitus & Hyperacusis program Vashi,  Navi Mumbai offers ENT and audiological practices to evaluate, diagnose and treat tinnitus so that it no longer interferes with daily activities.

Ask for appointment at 9322229159 or info@audicco.com

 

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Technology Advancements In Hearing Aids

Post by Ranjitha R. (Audiologist & Speech Therapist)

RECEIVER IN THE CANAL  HEARING AIDS-

Receiver in Canal  RIC Hearing aids are similar to behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid-with one important, but crucial difference. The receiver of the hearing aid is placed in the ear canal of the user  and instead of plastic tube which is used in the BTE hearing aid, thin electrical wires are used.

These are useful for individuals with mild to severe losses.

 

2Reciever in the canal (RIC)

The RIC model consists of three parts

  • The housing/Case- which sits behind the ear
  • Thin ear wire- connecting the housing to the receiver
  • The Receiver-which goes directly in the ear canal

Benefits OF RIC:

‘Open fit’ technology does not plug up the ear like BTE ear molds, offering relief from occlusion.

Because receiver goes inside the ear canal there is small part behind-the-ear and the thin wire connecting the hearing aid to the speaker – this is extremely inconspicuous and for the majority of people, the most cosmetically acceptable hearing aid device.

The sound is smoother and free of distortion as the amplified signal is emitted by the receiver to the ear, rather than through a plastic tube from behind the ear to the ear.

 

INVISIBLE IN THE CANAL; HEARING AIDS

IIC-Invisible hearing aidIf you are a person with hearing loss, but do not wish to wear a hearing aid because of the cosmetic appeal that it gives, try wearing IICs. They are tiny, custom made hearing aids which snugly fits in to your ear canal, that nobody will ever know that you are wearing a hearing aid. IICs make use of the natural acoustics of your ear to give the best sound quality.

iic - CopyAn IIC hearing aid is one in which the faceplate is at or near the second bend of the ear canal, and the tip of the shell is much closer to the eardrum. The deeper  Canal placement of the hearing aid microphone retains some aspects of the ears natural filtering as compared to the behind the ear hearing aid. The performance and cosmetic advantages of this fitting style appeal to a wide variety of hearing aid candidates, many of whom may not consider more visible hearing aid options.

WATER PROOF AND WATER RESISTANT HEARING AIDS

Siemens Waterproof hearing aidPeople with hearing loss has to take some extra precautions for keeping their hearing aids dry especially for individuals who have an active lifestyle ,who heavily perspire  or for people who exercise and need hearing aids to hear instructions or listen to music through Bluetooth transmission.

To make things simpler, manufactures have a few solutions for you.

A water-resistant hearing instrument can withstand the effects of water, perspiration, and other forms of moisture. Water-resistant means it can get wet and stay functional and in some cases can be submersed in a meter of water for up to a half hour.

A“waterproof,” hearing instrument is able to withstand total submersion in water. A waterproof hearing aid can be worn while swimming as long as a special custom ear mold is worn in place of the slim tube.  Waterproof means the hearing aid can endure swimming and other underwater sports for any length of time. Currently few hearing aids meet the standard of waterproof.

REMOTE CONTROL FOR HEARING AIDS

Hearing aid Remote control If you are searching for a more flexible way to operate your hearing aids, a remote control is an ideal choice.

Modern hearing aids are becoming technically advanced and smaller, and a remote control allows you to access hearing aid functions simply and easily. The remote control’s large keys are simple to operate like changing environmental programs, and adjust the volume of sound coming from the environment, or streaming to your hearing aids from TV, PC, phone and more.

To be continued in next post…

Single Sided Hearing Loss Can Seriously Impact Lifestyle and Work…

 

 

I sleep through bed side alarm because I happen to be lying with my hearing ear to the pillow. I have Single Sided Deafness (hearing loss in one ear) …But I am able to  manage my life…But…

 

What are Symptoms of Single sided deafness?

  •  Inability to hear sound from affected side of the ea
  • Inability to locate the direction of where the sound is coming from.
  • Understanding speech in background noise, sounds all blur into one flat mono channel
  • May turn their head to hear with their “good ear.”

I can manage my life with one ear but is there some psychosocial impact?

Yes…

It affects social, work and home interactions due to the reduced ability to localize sounds and to discriminate speech in background noise.

  • Irritability and fatigue due to more effort needed to listen
  • Frequent headaches, stress
  • Social isolation
  • Blamed for “not paying attention.”
  • Avoids group situations because the noise overwhelms them,
  • Can hear only half of the components of the music, e.g., bass or piano, but not both

 

How one sided hearing loss is diagnosed?

ENT evaluation and Hearing test (audiometry) can detect hearing loss in one ear. Further tests may be required to know the cause.

It can be conductive, sensor neural or mixed in nature.

Conductive hearing loss may be due to problem in the ear canal, such as earwax, ear drum injury or infections.

Senorineural hearing loss can be either congenital or present at or just after birth due to malformation of the inner ear or a dysfunction/absence of the auditory nerve. It can also be acquired later on in life as the result of various causes such as ototoxic drugs, immunological diseases and infections.

 What is the treatment for one sided hearing loss?

Medicines and surgery may help in conductive hearing loss. Hearing aid help for sensorineural hearing loss

For permanent total one sided hearing loss even normal hearing aid does not help and aim is to restore the sensation of hearing by sending a signal to the better hearing side. It can be achieved by following two options-

Surgical: (BAHA)

BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), are surgically placed into the temporal bone of the unaidable ear. A sound processor transmits sound waves to the implanted fixture, which in turn causes sound to travel via bone conduction to the cochlea of the better ear.

Image courtesy:cochlear

Non-surgical: CROS Hearing aid 

Sound is picked up by a microphone worn on the unaidable ear and wirelessly transmitted to a hearing aid, which is worn on the better ear. The sound signal is typically transferred either by a wire connecting each device or wireless.

Image courtesy:Phonak

Unilateral Hearing Loss in Children:

Did you KNOW …?

SCHOOLCHILDREN with UNTREATED unilateral hearing loss are LIKELY TO FAIL one or more grades despite normal cognitive abilities?

Most of the time child with hearing loss in one ear is  MISSED till he grows sufficiently older to tell parents about his hearing problem. Child may be labelled as not paying attention in school

They can greatly benefit from fitting of hearing aid or sound field system (desk top or ear level FM system) to ensure the child can hear the teacher’s voice. Children with profound one sided hearing loss may benefit from CROS hearing aid designed to transfer sound from hear with hearing loss to the FM Technology.

Helping child with a unilateral hearing loss

Keep background noise to a minimum as much as possible.

Get child’s attention before speaking to them.

Position yourself so that you are on their side with good hearing.

Make the teacher aware that child has a unilateral hearing loss.

Ask for child to be seated as near to the teacher as possible

What is the Phonak CROS System?

The Phonak CROS/Bi CROS wireless system allows sounds to be transmitted from the dead ear to the normal /damaged ear. It is also the smallest solution on the market and is even available in a waterproof version, specially designed for active people.